A Day in the Life of… a Beauty Therapist

Gill Sherry

A Day in the Life of… a Beauty Therapist 

Julie Blaikie has lived in Ayrshire her whole life and currently stays in the coastal village of Maidens. She loves taking her dogs for long walks on the beach but when she’s not outdoors, she can usually be found doing yoga or working out at the gym. Julie is a beauty therapist at Turnberry Spa and I caught up with her to find out exactly what that entails.

How long have you been a beauty therapist?

I’ve been fortunate to work as a beauty therapist for over two decades now. After completing my training, I started a full-time position at the Arcana Spa in Ayr. I then transitioned into teaching, accepting an instructor role at Kilmarnock College (which later became Ayrshire College). I spent several rewarding years teaching eager beauty therapy students before returning to practising as a therapist. I have been back in the treatment room at the acclaimed Turnberry Spa for over a year.

What training did you need to do?

I initially completed my National Certificate in beauty, then a Higher National Certificate and Higher National Diploma in Beauty Therapy. My training lasted a full three years. However, beauty therapists are continually training and learning new treatment techniques.  

What do you like best about your role?

As beauty therapists, our aim is to provide guests with a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, and the beautiful surroundings of Turnberry Spa allow us to make that happen. It’s a joy to work in such a lovely environment. I also enjoy greeting new clients and consulting with them to determine their needs and preferences. Getting to help people disconnect from the world and leave feeling truly cared for is the ultimate reward.

Do you dislike anything about your job?

I suppose if I had to pick one less preferred aspect, it would be the physical strain that can sometimes result from providing massages and body treatments all day. Bending over massage tables and working on tired muscles requires strength and stamina, so good self-care is important.    

How many hours a week do you normally work?

I normally work 24 hours per week. We can get really busy in the summer and work more hours then.

What time does your working day usually start?

Our working day is 9.45am until 7.15pm.

Can you briefly describe what a typical day involves?

Once I’ve collected my freshly laundered uniform I review my appointment schedule.   My first order of business is preparing my treatment room to ensure a soothing atmosphere and seamless experience for each guest. This involves cueing up relaxing music, organising towels and linens and laying out skincare products. I also prepare our relaxation room with refreshments so clients can extend their zen after their treatment. My day then continues with consultations, customised treatments and interactions with guests. Sessions may include massages, facials, body wraps or scrubs. I also provide homecare tips so they can continue their spa-like self-care at home. In between appointments, I refresh rooms with fresh linens, replenish towels and retail displays.

One piece of advice for someone looking to become a beauty therapist?

Don’t just view this as a job, pursue it as a passion. Allow your desire to help clients feel their best steer you on your journey to becoming a beauty therapist.

What would you be if you weren’t a beauty therapist?

I would be a dog groomer or walker and make dogs feel and look their best!

Career highlight so far?

I can’t think of one particular highlight, but my daily highlight is seeing people leave Turnberry Spa after their treatment feeling truly relaxed and restored, it is very rewarding! 

If you had to sum up your job in one word, what would it be?